Chairman Jia Qinglin Unveiling Inaugural Plaque for Tourism Confucius Institute at Griffith University

[Source]    Xinhuanet [Time]    2011-04-12 10:18:59 

On April 9th, 2011, Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, attended the unveiling ceremony for the Tourism Confucius Institute at Griffith University and gave a speech in Brisbane. Chairman Jia Qinglin and Ms. Leneen Forde, Chancellor of the university jointly unveiled the inaugural plaque. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Pang Xinglei

Brisbane, April 9th, 2011(Xinhua/Wei Jianhua & Cao Yang, People’s Daily/Ma Jian) — On a clear and sparkling autumn day, by the quiet and shining Queensland riverside, the Griffith University established the world's first Tourism Confucius Institute at Brisbane. Chairman Jia Qinglin, on his visit to Australia, unveiled the inaugural plaque for the Confucius Institute.

One of the most important ideas of Chinese culture is that “harmony is most precious” and “being harmonious but still unique“. The Confucius Institute has been dedicated to promoting Chinese language and culture, to developing friendly relations between China and other countries so as to promote the development of global multiculturalism and to make contributions to building a harmonious world, ever since its inception. One of the primary goals for Chairman Jia Qinglin was to promote cultural exchange between China and Australia on his Australian visit.

Long distance cannot separate true friends sharing one heart.

At 10:40am, Chairman Jia Qinglin appeared at the unveiling ceremony, which had a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The Griffith University, established in 1971, with its main campuses located on the south of the riverside of Brisbane, has a total enrollment of approximately 40,000 students. The university is distinguished in offering the best major in Tourism and Hotel Management in Australia. The Griffith University has offered Chinese language courses for more than 30 years. Today, the university is the host of the world’s first Tourism Confucius Institute.

A strong aura of Chinese culture filled the ceremonial hall. Several paintings with the theme of ancient Chinese chariots and horses as well as flowers and birds were hung on one wall. Various books were arranged on shelves on the other side of the wall, including “Five Thousand Years of Chinese Characters“, “Common Knowledge About Chinese Culture” and “Everyday Chinese”.

After a short speech given by Ms. Leneen Forde and Chairman Jia Qinglin respectively, both sides unveiled the inaugural plaque for the university’s Tourism Confucius Institute. A simplified variation of the Chinese character Han (汉) was cast on the plaque, decorated with the design of a soaring peace dove and the earth. The plaque had a neatness and pleasing simplicity that combined pliability with toughness and dynamism.

As the curtain drew up, thunderous applause broke out. Chairman Jia Qinglin shook hands with Chancellor Ms. Forde with a smile.

“The Institute is a joint project between the Griffith University and the China University of Mining and Technology. The Institute, as the third Confucius Institute established in Queensland, has marked another success for cultural and educational exchange between China and Australia. I would like to express my warm congratulations on this event,” Chairman Jia Qinglin stated.

"With Griffith's strengths in tourism education, the Institute has started a new pattern for linking Chinese language teaching with tourism, which has enriched the experience for China in establishing Confucius Institutes overseas and opened a new chapter between the two countries to enhance cultural and educational exchange”, Chairman Jia continued his speech. Hu Zhiping, Deputy Director-General of Hanban gave an introduction to the state of establishment of the Confucius Institutes. According to Hu, there are approximately 330 Confucius Institutes and 400 Confucius Classrooms in nearly 100 countries worldwide, bridging an important cultural exchange gap for China and other countries. At present, the Institute is focusing on further developing their established programs with more distinctive features.